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Suffolk: New chief constable unveils blueprint for future of county’s policing

PUBLISHED: 06:47 09 February 2013

Douglas Paxton, the new Chief Constable for Suffolk.

Douglas Paxton, the new Chief Constable for Suffolk.

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SUFFOLK’S Chief Constable-in-waiting has outlined his blueprint for the future of policing in the county.

Douglas Paxton was officially confirmed as Suffolk’s next police chief at a meeting of the Police and Crime Panel at Suffolk County Council’s Endeavour House headquarters yesterday.

The 47-year-old, who is currently Deputy Chief Constable of Staffordshire Police, was nominated as the preferred candidate by Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore.

During the meeting Mr Paxton set out his priorities for when he takes office on March 4, following the retirement of the present Chief Constable Simon Ash, who is due to stand down on February 18.

Mr Paxton said among the cornerstones of his vision to take the county’s police force forward is the desire for victims of crime or anti-social behaviour to be satisfied with the service they receive from officers.

The father-of-two believes it is also possible to reduce crime further by building on the foundations set down by his predecessor. Figures released previously indicate this year has seen a double-digit decrease in reported offences.

Protecting the vulnerable, ranging from reducing the risk of serious injury or death on the roads to those subjected to serious threats or harm, is another focus for the new incumbent.

Curbing troublesome families and steering prolific offenders away from crime while working with other agencies are also near the top of Mr Paxton’s agenda.

Among the other areas to be targeted will be the problems caused by alcohol, helping those with mental health issues, and enhancing the police’s role in educating children.

Mr Paxton told the Police and Crime Panel he realised all this would be set against a backdrop of multi-million pound savings having to be made due to Government cuts.

He said: ”The difficulties are not over. I will lead this organisation with confidence and optimism, and that will be unswerving. Our staff, our partners, do not need somebody looking for excuses.

“We must make our communities more tranquil. We can’t accept we are at the mercies of a rise in anti-social behaviour or crime.”

Referring to the reputation of the police which has been clouded by high-profile inquiries nationally, Mr Paxton pledged that transparency will be a watchword under his command.

He said: “We have ended up in a situation where the public doubt the leadership and intent in the police service.

“I would like this to be the most transparent police service in the country. Part of that is for people to work with us.

“All of what we do should be part of a crystal clear focus from the public.”

Mr Paxton said although there were opportunities ahead for further collaboration with Norfolk Constabulary he very much want to ensure Suffolk remained a “sovereign state” when it came to policing.

Turning to his embryonic relationship with Mr Passmore, Mr Paxton added: “We both share a passion for this county.

“We both want to be proud of what is generated by the constabulary and its partners.

“We will not let communities down. Nothing will distract us from that.”

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